Global Marine Systems received recognition for its innovation and best practices in the field of engineering at the International Business Awards which took place in Singapore on 24 July. The awards are presented to international firms that have made important contributions to the economies of South East Asian countries.
Global Marine Systems, a company that specialises in the installation and maintenance of subsea cables, won the award for engineering work performed on the Boracay Palawan Submarine Cable System (BPSCS) early last year. The project was commissioned by Globe Telecom in the Philippines to bring high-speed fibre-based connections to Boracay and Palawan, both important tourist and business destinations.
The BPSCS network comprises a 330km fibre optic cable linking Boracay, Caticlan, Taytay, Palawan and San Jose, Mindoro. With Huawei Marine Networks as primary contractor, Global Marine provided the cable route planning, engineering and installation work for the network. The company used its cable ship Cable Retriever and deployed its specialised Hi-Plough trenching tool to simultaneously lay and bury a significant percentage of the BPSCS cable to 1m below the sea floor.
Global Marine CEO Ian Douglas described the pre-lay engineering as "an absolutely critical component to any subsea cable installation." "The process begins with a detailed desk study during which an initial cable route is identified and the physical and human risks are assessed," he explained. "That study becomes the basis for a physical survey of the seabed to identify any existing obstacles like wreck sites or existing infrastructure such as pipelines and other cables in the vicinity."
"Only after these activities have been completed will a final route plan be determined by our expert route planning team," Mr Douglas continued. "In the case of BPSCS, the area of installation was challenging to navigate due to the combined natural and external factors that can damage a cable. Our engineers would have considered fishing and shipping activity along with tidal and seismic activity before determining a final cable route and commencing the installation," he explained.
"Companies like Global Marine play an important role in managing the cable route and installation to help our customers reduce their risk, ensure the long-term viability of their cable, and protect their financial investment in their network," Douglas concluded.